Message 03062020 : Habits

Mail, 03062020 : HABITS


Some of the recipients of my recent daily mails have responded that some links open to too long articles. They are right. One day we will discuss fast/selective reading. Then, we will request our friends who were on committees/boards or have been reviewing bulky books to tell us how they managed time.
M G Warrier
M 134

Mail 03062020 : Habits


Let's make refining our habits to make our own lives better, a habit. For that, first we need to know what we mean by habit. Since childhood we have been hearing a lot about good and bad habits. My submission is, some of those traits packaged as habits may not be really habits at all. Some writers made some quick bucks by writing books on "Seven Habits of..." As if you can buy a book and change your habits. 
Neither will this link help you to change your habits.

 B. Fall in human values*

Ex-RBite Shri K N Ganapathy shares a memory:

    In our village we had a house with a 2 acre compound, a well of 14 feet diameter with a parapet
of 2.1/2 feet.  We had a cow and its calf.  I was hardly 10 years old.  The calf in its usual playful mood
was running around the compound. When it neared the well it just jumped over the parapet and fell plump in
the well water.  Me and mother shouted for help in the highest pitch possible.  Fortunately four able-bodied
persons came running and took stock of the situation.  One man went down the well with the help of
a bamboo which acted as  a makeshift ladder.  He reached the surface of the water and grabbed the calf. Other 
two persons got some ropes from somewhere and made some knots and lowered it into the well.  The man
in the well managed to tie the ropes to either end of the calf's stomach and the two men outside the well
smoothly drew the calf out of the well, to the ground.  The ropes were untied and  the calf jumped and ran.  We were
ecstatic. We expressed our gratitude to those noble souls and asked them to just wait a few minutes
so that we can make some tea etc. for them. They replied that they were already late for their work and
just walked away.  Can we expect such a spontaneous and risky help from anybody now?
We would have not forgotten the incident that happened a few years back when a girl, Krithika, was stabbed
and murdered in the Nungambakkam railway platform and there was nobody to come to her rescue.Times
have changed.


C. Don't we all...?!*

I parked in front of the market sitting inside my car waiting for my son to get few items from the supermarket.

Coming my way from across the road was what society would consider a "tramp".
From his looks, he had no home, no clean clothes, and no money. 
There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered.
This was one of those "don't want to be bothered times."
"I hope he doesn't ask me for any money,"  I thought.
He didn't.

He came and sat on the curb nearby but he didn't look like he could have enough money to even get a good meal.
After a few minutes, he spoke.
"That's a very nice  car you have there" he said.
He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him.
I said, "thanks," and continued listening to the car radio.
He sat there quietly and the expected plea for money never came.

As the silence between us widened something inside me said, "ask him if he needs any help." 
I was sure that he would say "yes" but I held true to the inner voice.
"Do you need any help?" I asked.
He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.
We often look for wisdom in great men and women and we expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.
I expected nothing but outstretched hands.
He spoke three words that shook me.

*"Don't we all"?* he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, until those three words hit me like a shotgun.
Don't we all?       I needed help.
Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep or a meal, but I needed help.
I reached in my wallet and gave him enough to get a warm meal and few other things for the day.
Those three little words still ring in my ears.

No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, 
you need help too.
No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, 
you can give help.
Even if it's just a compliment, you can give that.
You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all.
They are waiting on you to give them what they don't have.
A different perspective on life,
A listening ear, 
A kind word, 
An understanding smile....

The man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets.
May be he was more than that.
May be he was sent by a power that is Great and Wise,
May be God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a tramp, then said, "go minister to that man inside the car, that man needs help."


Let’s spend this lockdown period to reflect on life’s true meaning.
We come, we go; the in between defines who we truly are.
As Kindness Matters!
*Stay safe... stay Blessed*

*Copied from a WhatsApp forward

When we planned our first trip to US, ideas just poured in how to pack, which items to keep in the check-in and which to keep in the hand luggage. Many ideas were contrary. Yet we packed our own way and returned safe.
Our entire body is packed into various systems digestive ,skeletal,  circulatory,excretory etc etc.Spiritual leaders talk of three gunas, six enemies, five karmendriyas and five gnaanendriyas and six chakras such as mooladhara, aagnaa etc..
Recently everyone has experienced about TV channel packages and Airtel advertisements and WIFI packages.
  ​From womb to tomb, it is a package.The foetus remains packed in its warm shelter, safe for nine months.
For deliveries there is a package running to thousands just to include a pack of infant diapers with unheard of lotions and itch guards using expressions like prenatal and post natal care. Once it comes out , it becomes captivated by all the packages –air, water, milk food etc to ensure its health which again comes in different packages.
During school reopening book stalls announce separate combo including school bags, Geometry box, a set of sanitary pads included for girls.
If you go to a sports shop it will have so many outfits made into a combo. Similar with swimming suits. No need to talk about Bharatha Natyam garments known for rich embellishments.
All ready made shops in garments have a stall for cosmetics,  matching bangles, necklaces and shoes too.
Many hotels attract customers with packages called combos-with various combinations of food items ultimately making the purses leaner in addition to spoiling the stomach.
If you want to conduct a marriage there are different packages,economy, medium and luxury. The long lists are laced with traditions unknown even to great grandmas. Now a days wedding planners include as many items as possible such as 'mehndi, sangeeth etc even in South Indian weddings which never comprised these items.
Nothing can be said about owning a house. It is a world of packages, consisting of so many contracts for plumbing, painting, furniture and fittings, modular kitchen, Home theatre and so on.These packages are known  more for exclusions.
Politics is no way different. Candidates have so many packages in the form of promises for reforms( never to be fulfilled)for ever.
Annual Medical Check up has been a new boon/bane not only in hospitals but also with Insurance companies. They make  us undergo so many investigations all under a simple package-net result you get anxious about non existing disorder transforming you into hypochondriacs.
For bye pass surgeries there is a package inclusive of all diagnostic tests, post operative care etc running to lakhs.
There is a package for the final package also,
 which offers so many facilities for the departed, rather for the families of the departed.

There are packages, Golden , silver, copper and iron, for Rs 50,000, 30,000 ,15000  and 10000. The first one gives 100 people chanting Ram-Nam to accompany the dead body to the crematorium/burial ground, so that it looks impressive. In the other packages the facilities are in the decreasing  order.

There are packages for the luminaries and celebrities providing services to the rich, about their condolences meet held in AC auditoriums, soft drinks, etc to be served, and a pre recorded video of the departed would be played.Wow!  all included in the package.
That is called "Dying in Style".There is also another attraction. The relatives would get a ‘Paapa Mukthi Certificate’ and’ Moksha Pradhan Certificate’ conveying that the dead is relieved of  all sins and will attain salvation. What more do you want?The relatives are offered a lottery ticket free, in which there is a possibility of winning a car.
Death during corona outbreak is different.
Corona packages are strange.Amidst severe restrictions we had to cremate the mortal remains by paying various packages on the day of death for mortuary charges, body-drop expenses, crematorium charges etc.Yesterday I had been to Gnanavapi,T.Nagar to arrange for after -death rituals for my brother-in-law who passed away in April.
Now only five people are allowed including pandit Ji. No Saappaadu but for the priests.
Since curfew continues, we could not invite anyone for the 'shubam' function and guests also may not be able to get transportation.( However ola advertises for very safe travel) But there is a package from external agencies to supply a grand  packed lunch at the door steps of the guests along with a Thank you card.Without stepping out you can have a free lunch with sweet!

 In the world of packages we find that there is always a mixture of likes and dislikes.
Too many children and too much of poverty;
 too rich and having no children;
 poverty and generous heart;
youth, riches and vices-
 old age, ill health and transformation towards betterment.
The above are the widely prevalent packages.
We would like a package in which there is no anger, lust or hatred but a combination of  love,kindness and commitment. We may never dream of that package in this material world because in the absence of evils we may not realise the importance of the lovely package we aspire for.

** Shared by Smt Vathsala Jayaraman, Ex-RBI, Chennai via group email.


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